GOOGL - Alphabet Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
1,200.44
+21.23 (+1.80%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous close1,179.21
Open1,191.83
Bid0.00 x 800
Ask1,204.63 x 900
Day's range1,190.40 - 1,209.39
52-week range977.66 - 1,296.97
Volume1,222,854
Avg. volume1,599,529
Market cap831.814B
Beta (3Y monthly)0.98
PE ratio (TTM)24.23
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target estN/A
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty
    Bloomberg

    Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Huawei Technologies Co.’s founder Ren Zhengfei warned in an internal memo the company is at a “live or die moment” and advised underutilized employees to form “commando squads” to explore new projects. Workers who fail will have their salaries cut every few months and may lose their jobs, the billionaire said yesterday.Since May, Huawei has occupied the uncomfortable position of being both an established global technology brand and a member of the United States Entity List, which bars it from trading with American suppliers. Despite a series of 90-day reprieves, the latest of which came yesterday, the uncertainty caused by American sanctions has already cost the company a great deal. Even if Huawei is eventually brought in from the cold, the impact of this summer’s upheaval will be widespread and painful.The most immediate of Huawei’s losses is the international smartphone market. The company’s internal estimates show it expects to sell 60 million fewer phones in 2019 than it would have done without the U.S. impositions. In 2018, Huawei grew its mobile shipments by 34% to 206 million, according to IDC data, and in the first quarter of 2019 its pace accelerated to a 50% improvement while rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. both saw shrinking sales. By the second quarter, partially affected by U.S. sanctions, Huawei’s growth had been slashed to 8.3%.Having successfully penetrated the European mobile market, Huawei was on a path to becoming the world’s biggest phone vendor, however the loss of Google’s Android, the brains inside its handsets, and the related Play Store app ecosystem made Huawei devices undesirable outside of China.Ren warned in his memo that redundant staff need to find a way to make themselves useful.“They either form a ‘commando squad’ to explore new projects -- in which case they could be promoted to company commander if they do well,” he wrote. “Or they can find jobs in the internal market. If they fail to find a role, their salaries will be cut every three months.”Read more: Huawei’s Founder Wants an ‘Invincible Iron Army’ to Fight U.S.The consumer division is, according to Huawei itself, its growth engine. Accounting for 45% of its revenue last year, the business that sells phones and other gadgets is instrumental to Huawei’s future health, and it’s taken a substantial reputation blow from all the allegations and sanctions levied against Huawei. That won’t be repaired anytime soon.On the same front is Huawei’s loss of software engineering time as it’s had to scramble to create a potential Android substitute. In the wake of the U.S. ban, the company switched to 24-hour days, working as many as 10,000 developers across three shifts and three offices to eliminate the need for American software and circuitry. Huawei ended up hurrying its HarmonyOS out this month, just to demonstrate it can code its own operating system, though it convinced very few people that it has anything approaching an Android alternative waiting in the wings.Less quantifiable but still significant will be the talent drain that Huawei suffers from the tarnishing of its global reputation and the overwork that’s resulted from its efforts to recover. The company has downsized its workforce in response to its new circumstances.Ren wrote that the company’s priorities are for employees to make “meritorious deeds” and for management “to promote outstanding employees as soon as possible and infuse new blood to our organization.”In explaining the fresh extension to Huawei’s reprieve from U.S. sanctions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that some American telecoms are “dependent” on Huawei tech and need time to wean themselves off it. So while the Washington authorities are giving Huawei a little more breathing room, the company’s situation is still very much precarious, as its founder has indicated.Without the U.S. trade intervention, Huawei would be threatening Samsung for the crown of the world’s most prolific smartphone vendor and it would be capitalizing on its lead in 5G technology instead of counting the cost of lost customers. The company remains in a strong position, but the dynamism of its growth and the luster of its cutting-edge technology have both been diminished by the measures taken by the American government.To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at vsavov5@bloomberg.net;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter Elstrom, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Baidu’s CEO Warns of ‘Pain’ After Search Giant Fights Off Rivals
    Bloomberg

    Baidu’s CEO Warns of ‘Pain’ After Search Giant Fights Off Rivals

    (Bloomberg) -- So challenging are the times for Baidu Inc. that even meager revenue growth is cause for celebration.The Chinese search leader’s shares surged as much as 10% in extended trading after it reported sales inched up 1.4% to 26.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in the June quarter, versus projections for a drop. Baidu foresees current-quarter revenue of 26.9 billion yuan to 28.5 billion yuan, flat to down a tad and roughly in line with estimates.The better-than-expected results will soothe investors’ worries for now that the 19-year-old company is losing steam rapidly as China’s internet evolves from desktop to mobile. Yet it continues to grapple with a broader economic slowdown as well as competition for advertisers from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Inc. The latter is chipping away at Baidu’s ad sales via increasingly popular news and social media apps, and also recently launched a general search engine -- a direct challenge to Baidu’s core business.“Facing severe outside challenges and a weak macro environment, the company has initiated a series of groundbreaking changes from top to bottom, involving company structures, personnel moves and business consolidation,” Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li said in a letter to employees after the results. “Despite periodic pain, these changes will have positive and profound impact, enabling Baidu to walk farther and steadier.”Read more: Baidu’s $66 Billion Dive Knocks It Out of China’s Internet Top 5Net income dropped to 2.41 billion yuan, reversing a loss in the prior quarter -- Baidu’s first since going public in 2005. The company enjoyed a near-monopoly in online search after Alphabet Inc.’s Google exited China in 2010 but has in past years suffered a plethora of troubles from a regulatory clampdown over healthcare ads to the departure of a slew of top executives including Xiang Hailong, a 14-year veteran who ran its core search business.The search giant is betting on new technology such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, but these pushes aren’t going to pay off financially any time soon. In the meantime, Baidu is investing in content to hold onto users, backing social media platforms including Q&A site Zhihu and science sharing platform Guokr. Daily active app users climbed 27% in the June quarter to 188 million, while subscribers on its Netflix-style iQiyi service grew by about 50% to 100.5 million in June.Baidu had fallen off the list of China’s five most valuable internet companies, trailing Meituan and NetEase Inc., after shedding more than 40% of its market value this year. Once touted as a member of China’s tech triumvirate alongside Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent, Baidu has been left behind as the country’s internet evolves.Baidu’s forecast “indicates continued pressure from multiple headwinds, including China’s weakening macroeconomic environment hurting advertisers’ sentiment, the company’s cleanup of low quality health-care advertisers, and the large influx of competitive advertising inventory depressing industry prices,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum Murphy, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Tech Stocks for Growth Investors to Buy in August
    Zacks

    3 Tech Stocks for Growth Investors to Buy in August

    It's time to check out 3 tech stocks that came through our screen today that growth investors might want to consider as we move beyond Q2 earnings season...

  • Apple Roundup: Tariffs, FAA, Russia, Music, App Store, Security
    Zacks

    Apple Roundup: Tariffs, FAA, Russia, Music, App Store, Security

    Good news about tariffs on iPhone, iPads, Macs, etc not kicking in until Dec 15 more than offset things like the FAA restricting some risky devices on flights, an antitrust probe in Russia and other.

  • 3 Reasons Why Spotify Is Becoming a Great Investment
    Motley Fool

    3 Reasons Why Spotify Is Becoming a Great Investment

    Life as a public company has so far been a rocky one for the audio streaming platform. Since directly listing on the NYSE in April 2018 at $165.90 a share, the stock has had its ups and downs, and is now sitting more than 10% below its opening price.

  • Google, Facebook Unite With Trump to Protest French Tech Tax
    Bloomberg

    Google, Facebook Unite With Trump to Protest French Tech Tax

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The relationship between President Donald Trump and the largest U.S. technology companies has often been frosty but a common opponent -- France’s plan to tax U.S. tech giants -- will bring the two sides together, at least temporarily.Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. all testified in Washington on Monday in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to potentially punish France for enacting a 3% tax on global tech companies with at least 750 million euros ($832 million) in global revenue and digital sales of 25 million euros in France.France’s digital tax “is a sharp departure from long-established tax rules and uniquely targets a subset of businesses,” Nicholas Bramble, trade policy counsel at Google, said at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office hearing in Washington on Monday. “French government officials have emphasized repeatedly that the” tax is intended to target foreign technology companies.How ‘Digital Tax’ Plans in Europe Hit U.S. Tech: QuickTakeThe U.S. is probing France’s new tax, which French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law last month, using a tool that could be a precursor to new tariffs or other trade restrictions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer could take action as soon as Aug. 26 when a comment period on the issue closes.The effort to crack down on France has created common ground for Trump -- who has called Google and Facebook “on the side of the Radical Left Democrats” and accused Amazon of avoiding taxes -- and technology companies that are both worried foreign governments are looking to use American corporations as a way to collect additional tax revenue.While Amazon has increased its profit margins, even so the French digital tax could eat into profitability, said Peter Hiltz, the online retailer’s director of international tax and policy planning.If another country -- such as Spain -- were to enact a tax similar to France, that tax could compound, he said. If a French buyer were to buy a product from a Spanish seller, that transaction would be taxed by both countries, he said.The U.S. is looking to use France as an example to deter other countries from targeting American technology firms for tax dollars. The U.K., New Zealand, Spain and Italy are among countries considering their own digital taxes, a move that U.S. officials say could lead to companies being taxed multiple times on the same profits.Trump has threatened to tax French wine or other goods in response to the digital tax. Trump said he was considering a 100% tariff on French wine at a fund-raiser last week, though it’s unclear if he was being serious.He also tweeted last month “we will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly!” The so-called 301 investigation, which looks into unfair trade practices, is the same tool Trump used to slap tariffs on China over alleged intellectual-property theft.The U.S. says countries considering their own version of a digital tax should focus on ongoing global talks with 130 countries on how to tax tech companies. Any future pact would likely create a whole new set of rules governing which countries have the right to tax the companies, which corporate profits are taxable, and how to resolve the inevitable disputes that would arise. A deal could be reached as soon as next year.Opposition to France’s tax is a rare area of bipartisan agreement in Congress. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in June, Senators Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, urged the U.S. to look at “all available tools under U.S. law to address such targeted and discriminatory taxation.”The lawmakers included a suggestion to use a section of the tax code that would double the rate of U.S. taxes on French citizens and companies in the U.S.(Updates with Amazon representatives comments starting in the sixth paragrah.)To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Sarah McGregor, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • U.S. to Ease Huawei Sanctions for Another 90 Days, Ross Says
    Bloomberg

    U.S. to Ease Huawei Sanctions for Another 90 Days, Ross Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The U.S. will extend for another 90 days a limited set of exemptions that had protected rural networks and other U.S. customers from a ban on doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday.Some telecom companies in the U.S. are “dependent” on Huawei, and so a 90-day reprieve was deemed appropriate, Ross said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. Still, the U.S. also added more than 40 Huawei affiliates to a trade blacklist.“We’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off,” he added. Ross said the next deadline will be around Nov. 19. He added that Commerce decided to place 46 more Huawei subsidiaries on its entity list.The announcement doesn’t address the wider national-security concerns about Huawei and answer the bigger question of whether U.S. chip companies and other major suppliers will be allowed to sell parts to China.Huawei said in a statement that the temporary relief “does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly. Today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way.” The move to add more of Huawei’s affiliates to the so-called Entity List “at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security,” the company said.QuickTake: How Huawei Became a Target for GovernmentsPresident Donald Trump over the weekend indicated the U.S. was “doing very well with China, and talking” but also suggested he wasn’t ready to sign a trade deal.U.S. stocks rallied Monday after the Trump administration signaled progress on trade negotiations and Ross announced the extension. Huawei, China’s largest technology company by sales, has been at the heart of worsening tensions and been called a bargaining chip in thorny trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. Trump had said he anticipated talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping “very soon” and the Huawei move may sweeten the tone of those discussions.Huawei, for its part, has been trying to carry on operations in face of U.S. sanctions on the sale of the vital technology. The company this month announced its in-house HarmonyOS, an open-source operating system that could one day serve as a replacement for Google Inc.’s Android if its access to that software is curtailed.Without Android or the numerous American silicon, technology and consultancy suppliers that Huawei does business with, many of its most promising product lines would either cease their rapid growth or be thwarted entirely.Rural AreasThe U.S. Commerce Department previously granted a three-month temporary license to Huawei’s U.S. customers shortly after the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese company. That allowed telecom carriers in rural areas to continue using Huawei equipment and Google to provide only key Android security updates to Huawei phones.The latest extension came after Trump met in July with the chief executives of key Huawei suppliers from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Broadcom Inc. to Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. to discuss economic issues including a possible resumption of sales to Huawei. U.S. companies argued that Huawei will turn to non-American suppliers if sanctions persisted, hurting the U.S. in the long run. But trade talks with Beijing ground to a halt and China refused to resume purchases of American agricultural products.National SecurityThe announcement Monday came one day after Trump suggested that Huawei was unlikely to receive another extension, pushing back against news reports about an expected reprieve.“At this moment, it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” Trump told reporters on Sunday in New Jersey. “I don’t want to do business at all, because it is a national security threat.”The president tied trade negotiations with the ongoing situation in Hong Kong, saying that a deal between the U.S. and China would be harder if there’s a violent conclusion to protests there because of concerns raised by U.S. lawmakers.Earlier this month, the trade war between the two countries intensified as the U.S. announced a next round of 10% tariffs on Chinese imports between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China responded with a boycott of American farm products and allowed its currency to weaken, signaling that this can help cushion the tariff blow.(Updates with Huawei reaction in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gao Yuan and Kasia Klimasinska.To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at vsavov5@bloomberg.net;Jordan Fabian in New York at jfabian6@bloomberg.net;Shawn Donnan in Washington at sdonnan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Wasserman, Sarah McGregorFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Market Realist

    Is Huawei a Threat to Google’s Advertising Business?

    Huawei plans to launch its own mapping service as soon as this October. But Huawei’s Map Kit will initially not be a consumer mapping service.

  • Google Gains Edge Over AMZN, MSFT & AAPL With Socratic Launch
    Zacks

    Google Gains Edge Over AMZN, MSFT & AAPL With Socratic Launch

    Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google launches iOS version of Socratic app, which is likely to bolster presence in edtech space.

  • Amazon's AWS Clientele Strengthens With The Globe and Mail
    Zacks

    Amazon's AWS Clientele Strengthens With The Globe and Mail

    Amazon's (AMZN) AWS is chosen by The Globe and Mail as the preferred cloud provider which strengthens its customer base.

  • Bloomberg

    Semiconductor Startup Shows Off the World’s Biggest Processor

    (Bloomberg) -- In the semiconductor industry, bigger is not usually better. For 60 years, chip companies have strived to make the brains of computers as tiny as possible.Startup Cerebras Systems will turn this maxim on its head on Monday when it unveils a processor measuring roughly 8 inches by 8 inches. That’s at least 50 times larger than similar chips available today.The logic behind going big is simple, according to founder Andrew Feldman. Artificial intelligence software requires huge amounts of information to improve, so processors need to be as fast as possible to crunch all this data -- even if that means the components get really chunky.The company’s Wafer Scale Engine chip is large because it has 1.2 trillion transistors, 400,000 computing cores and 18 gigabytes of memory. (A typical PC processor will have about 2 billion transistors, four to six cores and a fraction of the memory).“Every square millimeter is optimized for this work,” Feldman said. “AI work is growing like crazy. Our customers are in pain.” The biggest limitation of current AI systems is that it takes too long to train software, he added.Feldman has experience and industry backing that’s essential to tackling an engineering problem of this magnitude, he said. He co-founded server maker SeaMicro Inc. and sold it to chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. for more than $300 million in 2012. Cerebras has raised over $100 million from Silicon Valley investors including Benchmark, Andy Bechtolsheim and Sam Altman. Feldman has a team of 174 engineers and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. -- Apple Inc.’s chipmaker of choice -- is manufacturing the massive Cerebras processor.Cerebras won’t sell the chips because it’s so difficult to connect and cool such a huge piece of silicon. Instead, the product will offered as part of a new server that will be installed in data centers. The company said it has test systems working at several large potential customers and will start shipping the machines commercially in October.The AI chip market includes Nvidia Corp., Intel Corp. and U.K. startup Graphcore Ltd. Google has been so keen to speed up AI progress that the internet giant developed its own special chips called Tensor Processing Units.Nvidia was the last company to successfully bring new semiconductor technology into servers, the machines that run data centers that Google, Facebook Inc. and others use to run internet services. Nvidia now gets almost $3 billion a year in revenue from the business, which took years and thousands of engineers to build, according to Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang.“It takes a long time to be successful in data center,” he said in an interview last week.To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Exclusive: Fearing data privacy issues, Google cuts some Android phone data for wireless carriers
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Fearing data privacy issues, Google cuts some Android phone data for wireless carriers

    NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, because of Google's concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators. The withdrawal of the service, which has not been previously reported, has disappointed wireless carriers that used the data as part of their decision-making process on where to extend or upgrade their coverage. Google's Mobile Network Insights service, which had launched in March 2017, was essentially a map showing carriers signal strengths and connection speeds they were delivering in each area.

  • Bloomberg

    Amazon Wants to Put Alexa in Cars. Google and Apple Are There Already

    (Bloomberg) -- Somewhere between Spotify crashing and Alexa failing to locate his favorite sushi place, Rafael Rivera decided he was dealing with an unfinished product.The software developer’s rectangular Echo Auto, perched on the dashboard of his 2005 Mini Cooper, picked up his voice seamlessly over blaring music or air conditioning. But repeated restarts and clunky mapping made the on-the-go hub for Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa less useful.“Am I part of a beta program?” he recalls thinking. “Is this thing done?”Introduced almost a year ago and shipped to the first invited customers in January, the sometimes-buggy Echo Auto is the most visible element so far of Amazon’s ambition to take Alexa on the road.Behind the scenes, the company is trying to persuade automakers to bake the voice-activated digital assistant into their entertainment systems. Those efforts are gaining some traction—BMW and Audi earlier this year began selling select models that integrate Alexa’s software by default. But Amazon is entering a market already contested by Google and Apple Inc., not to mention automakers leery of ceding control of the dashboard to Big Tech.While colonizing the car probably won’t generate much in the way of revenue at first, just being there would help Amazon position itself for a coming era of voice-based services. “Amazon wants to get into the car in a big way,” says Mike Ramsey, a senior research director at Gartner who tracks the auto industry. “They sense that there is a big opportunity.”Amazon declined to make anyone available to discuss the program, but a spokesman pointed to comments Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Automotive, made last month to the Automotive News: “The real North Star for us is to be embedded with all the cars,” Curic said. “We’re working very hard to get there because we believe that is the best experience.”The company has said it wants to make Alexa, its hub for trivia, music and Amazon products, ubiquitous. The company built teams in recent years charged with making the software useful beyond the living room, seeking ties to home automation and security companies, building out voice and video calling functionality and even exploring wearable devices and home robots.The first tie between Alexa and an automaker was, like many Amazon efforts, an experiment. In 2016, Hyundai Motor Co. rolled out the first application linking Alexa to a big carmaker in a tool that let owners of some models start their vehicle or set the climate control from an Alexa device.Amazon formalized its push a year later, hiring Curic, an executive with Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American subsidiary, to run the automotive efforts. Curic’s team plucked staff from Lab126, the San Francisco Bay Area hardware division behind the Echo speaker, and Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing arm. Amazon also went shopping for recruits who knew their way around the industry, seeking veterans of German stalwarts like Daimler AG, BMW and Volkswagen, companies that have been among the most aggressive in exploring voice software.Hanging over the exercise to take Alexa on the road is Amazon’s failure to build a smartphone to rival Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple. About 62% of  people who use their voice to control music or other applications in their car today do so through a smartphone, a market dominated by Google and Apple, according to a survey by voice technology news site Voicebot and dashboard entertainment startup Drivetime. Another 32% opt for the software included in their car’s entertainment system while 6% use different technology, including the Echo Auto.“Amazon’s Achilles heel is not having a play on the phone,” says John Foster, chief executive of Aiqudo Inc. a startup working to tailor mobile applications for voice control. “They’re going at it the best way they can. But I do think they suffer from this disadvantage that Google is really starting to make clear.”Google, the company behind Android, the world’s most popular operating system, has gotten automakers on board, building ties that could be used to hook drivers into Google's Assistant, Alexa's biggest rival in the U.S. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Volvo are all building entertainment systems on Android.“Google has a much bigger footprint in the auto industry than Amazon does,” says Ramsey, of Gartner. “They’re getting big wins. Amazon is just starting to scratch the surface.”Other carmakers are going their own route.Some, like Daimler’s Mercedes, have thrown their weight behind proprietary voice software. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience system, like many automaker-branded software, is powered by technology built by Nuance Communications Inc., a software company in Massachusetts.“Each of these manufacturers wants to preserve their own brand” in the car, says Richard Mack, a Nuance marketing executive. “When you press that button on the steering wheel, Mercedes would much rather see their emblem come up rather than a Google or an Amazon or a Microsoft logo.”Amazon has tried to assuage carmakers worried about Google or Apple's potential automotive ambitions by suggesting Alexa could be one among several voice assistants embedded in a future entertainment system, according to two people who have heard the pitch, but aren't authorized to publicly discuss it. Amazon last year released tools that let carmakers build Alexa into their cars. The company has also tried to leverage Alexa’s popularity in the home, saying to potential partners that customers would rather use voice software they’re already familiar with than learn a new program while behind the wheel.As Curic’s team negotiated with carmakers, Lab126 engineers got to work on an end around, repurposing the Echo speaker’s microphone arrays and software, originally designed for homes, for noisy car environments. The device avoided dealing with in-car communications systems entirely by piggybacking off of customers’ smartphone to connect to Alexa servers.When it was released, analysts said the Echo Auto seemed to fill a gap in the market, offering a device that promised to bring modern voice control to older car models. It drew more than 1 million orders, Amazon said, though the device is still shipping in batches and only to invited customers.Reviewers said the device lacked polish, coming off at times like a work-in-progress. A reviewer at tech news site the Verge said some of the auto-focused applications Amazon touts on its website “are laughably bad right now.”It’s harder to get a read on how customers feel because Amazon, which helped popularize online product reviews, has disabled customer reviews for the Echo Auto.Ryan Adzima, who bought one to replace the outdated voice control system that came standard in his Jeep, is a fan. The owner of five Echo smart speakers figured the device’s introductory price tag of $25 was a bargain compared with replacing his entertainment system or buying a voice-activated navigation system.He liked the device, which heard his commands over road noise with the windows open and top down and easily handled tasks like calls and music. Connectivity, dependent on sometimes spotty wireless service around his Las Vegas home, left something to be desired, forcing him to reach for his phone to skip songs by hand when Alexa’s servers couldn’t be reached.Adzima isn’t in the market for a new car. But if Alexa is integrated in enough models by the time he is, he’ll consider it.“If I was sitting on a lot, and one car had Alexa built in, the other didn’t, and the cost difference wasn’t that much?,” he says. “That would definitely make my decision.”To contact the author of this story: Matt Day in Seattle at mday63@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Russia's Yandex looks at 10-fold increase in driverless car fleet to speed up testing
    Reuters

    Russia's Yandex looks at 10-fold increase in driverless car fleet to speed up testing

    Yandex , a Russian equivalent to Google, said it is considering expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to up to 1,000 within the next two years in order to speed up tests on the fledgling technology. Yandex hopes to start testing more than 100 of its self-driving cars on roads by the end of this year. Research published by HSBC bank in January said that Yandex's autonomous driving software put it on a par with global leaders in the technology and that it was catching up with Google's Waymo.

  • Russia's Yandex looks at ten-fold increase in driverless car fleet to speed up testing
    Reuters

    Russia's Yandex looks at ten-fold increase in driverless car fleet to speed up testing

    Yandex, a Russian equivalent to Google, said it is considering expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to up to 1,000 within the next two years in order to speed up tests on the fledgling technology. Yandex hopes to start testing more than 100 of its self-driving cars on roads by the end of this year. Research published by HSBC bank in January said that Yandex's autonomous driving software put it on a par with global leaders in the technology and that it was catching up with Google's Waymo.

  • AMD Fixing Its Data Center Processor Business Strategy
    Market Realist

    AMD Fixing Its Data Center Processor Business Strategy

    Delayed product rollouts caused AMD to lose market share to Intel. Led by CEO Lisa Su, AMD is trying to break with the past.

  • Bloomberg

    ByteDance Invests in Chinese Wikipedia-like Site in Search Push

    (Bloomberg) -- ByteDance Inc. has invested in a prominent Chinese Wikipedia-like platform, stepping up its internet search challenge to rival Baidu Inc.A unit of ByteDance, the world’s most valuable startup according to CB Insights, now holds 22% of the registered capital of Baike.com, according to a recent update on a Chinese government website that publishes company registration information. Baike, which means encyclopedia in Chinese, is the country’s second largest such reference platform and was founded in 2005 by Chief Executive Officer Pan Haidong. Pan is no longer listed as a shareholder of his company, the website shows.As China’s internet shifts from desktop to mobile, ByteDance is increasingly chipping away at advertising sales from Baidu, drawing users to its umbrella of apps from news aggregation to short video platforms. It’s also moving into Baidu’s core search engine business, launching Toutiao Search. That already features entries from Baike.com and started out as a function within ByteDance’s popular news app of the same name. It’s being built into a Google-like service and the company has said it’s recruited from Google, Baidu and Microsoft Corp.’s Bing.Baidu uses its own Wikipedia-like Baidu Baike, which is the market leader. Wikipedia is blocked in all languages in China.Representatives from ByteDance and Baike.com didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Baidu had previously declined to comment on ByteDance’s search service, but referred to remarks by a company executive who said Baidu has successfully fended off new entrants in the past.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Reasons Lyft Is a Better Buy Than Uber
    Motley Fool

    3 Reasons Lyft Is a Better Buy Than Uber

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